In the rich mythology of the American love/hate relationship with food, the winter holidays loom large, no pun intended. This is a time of year when not only celebratory traditions and family visits but the very elements conspire to boost your appetite and inspire binge-eating of the lush scenery that surrounds you in home kitchens, bakeries and stores everywhere.

At the Willy Street Co-op Production Kitchen, we do a balancing act with our menu. We don’t preach about what you eat, because that ruins the enjoyment of food faster than a drunken uncle at the dinner table. At the same time, we are committed to offering you the best, minimally processed (and local, for as long as the season lasts) flavorful foods, whatever your choices. So, we’re aiming to give you what’s good for you without ruining the fun of eating, whoever you are and whatever your brand of fun.

Barely pausing for breath after the Thanksgiving pie season, our bakers have put in some hard work to bring you new items for this season, all made without preservatives or processed ingredients. That means a couple of things: the whole ingredients we use in keeping with traditional baking aren’t low-cal or low-fat—the only way to take those things away and leave the flavor is by playing processing tricks, and we don’t like those, so use the traditional virtue of moderation when you enjoy this stuff. But, it also means that your body won’t be confused by things it doesn’t know as food; you’ll know when you’re full. After that, we’re all grownups, unless you’re not—and if you’re a kid and you’re reading this, you deserve a treat. So let’s take a look at what you’ll find on our shelves this winter and happy eating!

Pfeffernussen
Word on the street is that pfeffernussen, the wonderfully warming and addictive little cookies from Germany and points north, were once available on the mass market—but Stella D’Oro’s passing into and out of the hands of Nabisco has put an end to that. Never fear, there’s something better on the way. We’ll offer these crisp, spicy-sweet nubbins in packs of their own and in assortments.

Almond Crescents
Following suit in the department of sugar-dusted miniatures, these, like many winter holiday favorites, are a shortbread made especially rich with the fortification of ground almonds. If you like marzipan, but want a little more texture—be sure to try these before they’re gone.

Chocolate Babka
Totally unique, iconic dessert. A grand, larger-than-life rendering of pain au chocolate, this not-too-sweet, chocolate-laden loaf is made with a rich, yeasted dough that falls somewhere on the dizzying path between croissant and brioche. Airy, rich and fragrant, this may be the perfect candidate for French Toast with mimosas on New Year’s Day with no plans to leave the house to follow.

Smoked Almond Brittle
We always offer peanut brittle for the holidays, but wanted to give our Bakery’s recent foray into confectionery room to stretch out. As barbecue has proven time and again, nothing completes big, buttery flavors like smoke. We’ll use that same principle here to offer a relief from the sugar overload and give you something to serve to equal advantage with coffee, brandy or champagne after dinner.

Maple-Cayenne Gingerbread
We wanted to find a way to feature in a holiday setting the Andersen’s maple syrup which sweetens many of our year-round favorites. We decided to pick up traditional gingerbread with a strong hit of maple and a parting kiss of cayenne. You’ll want some Sassy Cow ice cream with this one.

There are others that you’ll see on our shelves this December, but these are the all-stars, the ones we’re especially proud of. Look for them in the second week of the month and featured through to the New Year. We’ll be sampling all of them throughout the season as well. See you soon!
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